why every sales team needs a sales dashboard

Recently, we wrote about what to know when creating detailed sales reports. There, we dig into the different types of sales reports available and walk through a step-by-step tutorial on how to create them.

While creating reports is half the battle, successful data monitoring doesn’t end there. The next step is to create a sales dashboard. A proper sales dashboard gives you a single source of truth so you can spend less time searching through your library of reports and more time accurately answering your business’s strategic questions.

In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of using a sales dashboard and share a few of our favorite reports to get you started.

Increase Visibility Into Your Business

Imagine trying to create your business strategy without a plan. While you know you want to generate awareness, boost conversions and increase overall revenue, it’s difficult putting all the pieces together if you can’t see the full picture (or have insight into your current and previous efforts).

The same logic applies for managing a sales team; without data, how do you know what’s working (and what’s not)?

Sales dashboards allow for full transparency into the ins and outs of your sales organization, combining data from all the tools you use and displaying it in one central location.

For example, let’s say your sales dashboard shows you that your MRR (monthly recurring revenue) isn’t as good as you need it to be. So, you look at your KPIs related to activities and see how your reps have been performing compared against the targets set. You immediately notice the number of activities per sales rep has decreased in the last month.

Voila! Now you understand leads aren’t being properly nurtured, which has a direct correlation to your sales and revenue.

With a bird’s eye view into the overall operations of the business and your teams’ activities, and having all reports in one place, makes it that much easier to connect the dots and see how all  areas of performance are related.

Streamline Sales (And Marketing) Processes

You’re probably familiar with the old saying, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

This is especially true for a sales team because success isn’t a destination, it’s a process. And like any good sales process, you need consistent, real-time data to understand how you got to where you are, and where you need to focus your efforts next.

With your eyes on the big picture, using sales dashboards helps you and your executive team plan and predict revenue and goal outcomes (and know when to make changes if you fall off track) through:

  • Improved Internal Communications: Say goodbye to back and forth email chains with five variations of the same spreadsheet. Using a dashboard lets you easily share relevant information across departments, with investors and with board members, so everyone has the information they need to handle their individual tasks right at their fingertips.
  • Better Understanding of Overall Performance: Knowing how the entire company is performing helps you plan initiatives for training, growth and new sales tactics with hard data to back up your decisions. (It also creates a more cohesive work environment where trust is based on the numbers, not someone’s gut instincts).
  • Increased Alignment with Your Marketing Department: From a dashboard, you can see how many sales-qualified leads entered the pipeline in any given week, month or quarter, or which marketing campaigns generated the most sales – meaning you have the data to build integrated strategies for moving leads through your funnels.

Sales dashboards allow you to cut out the guesswork and make data-driven decisions that will lead to a positive impact.

Motivate Sales Reps

Each sales rep on your team is different in their motivations, strengths and personalities. Sales dashboards empower individual sales reps to plan their day-to-day activities and allow managers to step in and coach when they see performance gaps.

Piggybacking off the example mentioned above, if your team goal is to reach an increased $5,000 in new MRR per rep each month, the channel to get there could vary from person to person. One rep might quickly get to $5,000 in new MRR by closing 10 deals through 200 cold calls. Meanwhile, another rep might find it easier to close 10 deals from a mix of 200 calls and emails sent.

Using your sales dashboards to acknowledge, nurture and motivate these individual selling strengths is the key to a diverse and empowered sales team that consistently hits their targets.

(Not to mention, seeing other reps’ scores creates healthy competition and gives everyone an extra incentive to exceed expectations.)

The Top Sales Reports for Your Dashboard

When it comes to sales reporting, there isn’t a one-size-fits all dashboard that applies to every organization. But there are some key metrics you’ll want to keep your eye on.

To help steer you in the right direction, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite reports that measure your sales strategy and salespeople.

Sales Performance Reports:

  • Deal Forecasting: Understanding how much revenue is on the line goes hand-in-hand with determining the work required by your sales team. Using a deal forecasting report shows you the amount of forecasted revenue by each deal stage within the pipeline, so you can keep a pulse on how much revenue is possible for your organization for this week, month, quarter or any custom timeframe.
  • Funnels: How are contacts moving through lifecycle stages? How are deals progressing? With a funnel report, you can monitor how many contacts have been created, how many have been assigned and how many are moving through the sales funnel so you can make data-driven decisions, identify points of friction and establish new goals.
  • Win/Loss Rate: Yes, like the names suggests, a win/loss rate report tracks how many deals were won or lost and why so you and your team can identify what actions were successful or caused them to fall through. You can also compare your team’s close rates to the rates from the previous reporting period to understand how your team is stacking up year over year (or compare against industry benchmarks to see how you’re lining up with your competitors).
  • Sales Pipeline: Curious how many leads, opportunities and deals are in various stages of the journey? With a sales pipeline report, you have the data to understand how your business is performing, which channels are performing best, what percentage of deals are closed by each channel and more so you can better streamline the sales process.

Sales Team Reports:

  • Productivity: This report shows the total number of calls, emails, notes, meetings and tasks your team logs on a day-to-day basis to understand where everyone is spending their time and how many activities are associated with a deal. (And yes, it does help you expose those underachievers too).
  • Leaderboard: There’s no harm in drumming up a bit of friendly competition amongst your team. The leaderboard report tracks each team member’s progress so everyone can see who has closed the most deals – and who needs to pick up the pace to avoid last place.

Chances are, you’ll find many other reports that grab your analytics-minded attention. (Click here to browse more sales reports you can implement on your dashboard). Just make sure whichever ones you choose to use are helpful to both your sales and marketing teams and give you a ‘360’ vision of your business.

(Bonus Tip! If you want to take your reporting even one step further, Databox is a comprehensive software that tracks everything from blog visitors to keyword performance to email campaigns and more so you can easily create fully customizable reports on key analytics. As a Databox partner, we help our clients build custom dashboards choosing from over 40 free sales dashboard examples and templates to help ensure your reporting efforts are a success.)

Grow Your Business

Tracking sales metrics to ensure your team is heading in the right direction is critical for your business. Carefully picking which metrics make sense to monitor for your organization gives you the ability to know when to course correct (or even completely pivot) your efforts to help you stay ahead of the game, achieve your sales goals and improve your bottom line.

If you’re ready to learn how to create sales dashboards that will turn your data into revenue opportunities, we’re here to help.